Tag Archives: lumberyard

How to Order Lumber for a New Pole Building

This is Wrong in So Many Ways

There is nothing wrong about trying to get the best deal for one’s investment. How do you think wealthy people got wealthy? Most of them didn’t just fall into money, they worked to get the best deals for their money spent.

However, sometimes, it just doesn’t pay.

Recently, in our Facebook group ‘Pole Barns and Buildings’, a new member made this post:

“Anyone here really good at figuring the lumber materials for a pole barn? I’ve already got my trusses and metal will be erecting myself. 40x70x14 with 40×50 of that enclosed with 2 12×12 roll up doors and a 36inx80in man door. 12×70 side shed on both sides.”

This poster is way over his head and here are my reasons for having this opinion:

  1. Not only does he not have third-party engineer sealed plans to build from (a sin in where I come from), he has no plans at all!
  2. If he had plans, he could simply count materials needed from his plans. It truly is not so difficult.
  3. Or, he could take his plans to his nearby lumberyard and they will do a takeoff for him (probably not being overly accurate) as they attempt to get him to buy their lumber package.
  4. Cart is way ahead of his horse. If I was ‘Joe soon to be new building owner’ and planning to erect my own building, I would at least look to order my materials to follow how I would use them. Hopefully he won’t have to store those materials very long, and if he does he will do them properly so as not to end up with sun tanned warped trusses and/or steel with paint sliding off it or premature rusting due to water sitting in inadequately protected bundles.

Here is how to store trusses on a jobsite: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/06/jobsite-storage-of-pole-building-trusses/ and steel roofing and siding: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/06/storage-of-steel-roofing-and-siding-panels/.

Piecemealers, like this one, never come out ahead: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/03/diy-pole-building/.

Snipe Hunting

In yesterday’s article, I made reference to one of the most beloved tool at any lumber yard – the green handled board stretcher.

And then – I gave no details about it! A cliffhanger indeed!

Before we get into the green handled board stretcher, a few words about a North American rite of passage:

snipe huntingIn this prank older adolescents take younger boys into the wilderness for the supposed purpose of “snipe hunting.” Snipes are an imaginary game bird purported to resemble quails or pheasants or what have you (the fictional snipe is not to be confused with the extant North American shorebird of that same name).

Snipe hunting takes place on moonless nights; the victims are provided burlap bags with which to catch the birds, while the conspirators spot them with flashlights. The conspirators make birdcalls, throw rocks in the bushes, and urgently cry out “snipe” to make the victims believe there are actually birds in the area. The victims don’t want to be the only one who can’t see the imaginary birds, so they claim to have seen them also. Pretty soon the victims have convinced each other they are surrounded by snipes and proceed to run about foolishly in search of the non-existent birds.

The conspirators will often agree they have just seen a snipe in a cactus patch or lake or thorny bush and order the victims to dive in and catch it with his respective sack. The victims are then often abandoned by their guides, thus completing the joke. The cycle repeats when this year’s dupes become privy to the snipe hunting joke and then take their younger siblings out the following year, in search of the ever elusive snipe.

When I was hired to manage the prefabricated metal connector plated roof truss manufacturing plant at Lucas Plywood and Lumber in Salem, Oregon in 1979, it was my first experience working adjacent to a lumber yard.

I was quite entertained by the new hires, over on the lumber side of the street, being indoctrinated on their first day of work. One of the first tasks was being sent by the lumber yard foreman to go fetch the “green handled board stretcher”. Without fail, every one of them went off looking for it. The more astute ones would realize with 10-15 minutes they had been sent off on a snipe hunt and sheepishly return.

To the best of my knowledge, the longest anyone ever went searching for the green handled board stretcher was until lunch time – however there have been rumors of lumberyards haunted by the ghosts of former new employees – still wandering aimlessly about deserted lumberyards….in search of the green handled board stretcher